IHA case studies

Resident-Driven Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement Initiative for Inpatient Management and Transition of COPD Patients


At a 350 bed community teaching hospital, potentially preventive readmissions data from the Illinois Health and Hospital Association revealed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rates were significantly higher than expected despite organizational readmission reduction efforts. The hospital initiated an innovative project to develop a multidisciplinary team that operated under the leadership of three internal medicine residents representing each postgraduate year of training. The team developed tools to improve patient care and transition management, including a COPD order set, discharge checklist and transition management decision trees. A computer-based training module was developed to assist in training caregivers on checklist use. Resident team members provided additional education to COPD treatment stakeholders and oversight on team compliance.

Primary project goals were to improve the quality of inpatient care and patient transitions, as measured by reducing 30 day readmissions and reducing length of stay (LOS), and cost per case, measured by charge per case. Project success would be validated by comparing 2014 results to 2013 baseline data, which would quantify improvement in patient management demonstrated by readmission reduction, improved efficiency in LOS and charge per case.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

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